Examining the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.”: Transforming a Christian Organization into a Gay Anthem

The above video is the music video for the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” It was released in 1978 and is set in New York City. Video was obtained from YouTube.


In 1978, the Village People, a prominent disco group, released their music video for their hit “Y.M.C.A.,” which was centered around musical and visual representations of masculine stereotypes and male socialization to celebrate gay culture in a heteronormative, homophobic America. Through a prominent bass line that produces a four-on-the-floor pulse and a syncopated brass sound, the Village People channeled their disco roots, celebrating and representing New York City’s gay community. Furthermore, their campy, hypermasculine personas and costumes, as well as their close vocal harmonies, promote homosocial bonding among men of different sexual orientations.